Chicago (Logan Square), Illinois:
Revolution Brewing - Milwaukee Avenue Brewpub
Visited on: Tuesday 19th June 2018
The beginnings of this well-renowned brewing company go back to 1990 when Golden Prairie Brewing was established on the corner of Elston and Webster Streets in Chicago by Ted Furman.
The brewery is no longer with us but the name lingers on as their beers are brewed by others under contract. But to return to 1990s, Josh Deth joined him and started by cleaning kegs and washing out tanks.
After Golden Prairie he moved on to Goose Island starting as a cellarman then moving on to be a brewer. This was about the time he started thinking about his own brewery. He tried twice but without success.
In 2003 with his wife Krista and friends he opened the Handlebar Restaurant and Bar in Wicker Park. In 2008 he located an old building in Milwaukee Avenue and the brew-pub concept returned.
A couple of years obtaining finance and overcoming planning issues led up to the opening date in February 2010 when the brewpub opened. They opened the Brewer’s Lounge on the second floor in July 2011. The main brewery and its associated tap room in Avondale came on stream during the Spring of 2012 and has expanded considerably since.
When Linda and I visited Revolution it was a nice pleasantly warm day, not humid and there was a low breeze coming off the lake. One of the picture windows to the street had been opened to take full advantage of weather.
Inside we found a central rectangular bar counter surrounded by high chairs. There were loose seats and tables along the left and right walls and at the far end was the brewery behind glass, along with kitchen service counter and the “merch” sales. The bar area and all the furniture was of varnished dark wood.
There was a very extensive beer menu which consisted of: Action Pants (3.3%), a Berliner Weisse; Freedom of Speech (4.5%), a sour ale; Bottom up Wit (5.0%), a Belgian-style wheat beer; Sun Crusher (5.3%), a hoppy wheat beer; Ghost Ride (5.3%), a Kölsch.
Plus Rev Pils (5.0%), a pilsner lager; Fist City (5.5%), a Chicago pale ale; Rosa (5.8%), a hibiscus ale; Please Clarify… (5.6%), a kristalweizen; O’Hare (5.7%), a sweet stout; Family Ties (6.2%), a kettle sour brown ale; Antihero (6.7%), an IPA.
The list continued with Eugene (7.0%), a porter; Galaxy Hero (7.0%), an IPA; Coup d’Etat (7.0%), a saison; Triple Fist (9.6%), an Imperial IPA; Executive Order (11.8%), a wheat wine; Deth’s Tar (2018 special edition) (14.6%) and finally the best of them all Bonkers (4.8%), an English Bitter cask-conditioned!
My memory is not too distinct on this but I think the pub did not do sampler flights because we only had three of the beers. This is what we thought of them: Fist City Extra Pale Ale was a collaboration with Big Star Brewing. It was well balanced with a medium bitterness in flavour and after taste.
Antihero IPA was true to its style and was hoppy but not over the top. A very good beer. The Bonkers bitter was superb, probably more complex than the style it was modelled on. It was well balanced and a good session beer.
There is a full menu and it would be a great pity if you visited Chicago without calling in to this excellent pub.
Revolution Brewing Company-Milwaukee Ave Brewpub, 2323 North Milwaukee Avenue, Chicago,
Illinois 60647. Tel: 773 227 2739. Web: revbrew.com
Hours: Monday-Friday 11.00-01.00; Saturday 10.00-01.00; Sunday 10.00-23.00
The best way to get to the pub is by the subway. If you are in the Loop (downtown) take the Blue line north. This line terminates at O’Hare Airport so could be useful. Alight at the California station.
Descend from the elevated platforms to street level. You are in North California Avenue. Turn right.
The next intersection is with Milwaukee Avenue. Turn left into it and you will find the pub on the right.